Elk­ton man gets six years for abus­ing chal­lenged teen

Cecil Whig - - LOCAL - By CARL HAMIL­TON



— An Elk­ton man who had sex with a men­tally chal­lenged teen — tak­ing ad­van­tage of her cog­ni­tive de­fi­ciency — re­ceived a six-year prison term Wed­nes­day.

Ce­cil County Cir­cuit Court Ad­min­is­tra­tive Judge Keith A. Baynes im­posed a 10-year sen­tence on the de­fen­dant, Paul Ed­ward Ta­tro Jr., 47, of the 200 block of Hollingsworth Manor, and then sus­pended four years of it.

On June 6, as part of a plea deal, Ta­tro had pleaded guilty to phys­i­cal abuse of a vul­ner­a­ble adult. In ex­change for Ta­tro’s guilty plea, prose­cu­tors dropped re­lated charges of sec­ond-de­gree rape and third- de­gree sex of­fense.

The judge or­dered Ta­tro to serve five years of su­per­vised pro­ba­tion af­ter com­plet­ing his six-year term, which he will serve in a Mary­land Depart­ment of Cor­rec­tions prison.

Also part of the sen­tence, Baynes or­dered Ta­tro to reg­is­ter as a con­victed sex of­fender for the rest of his life, al­low­ing po­lice and the pub­lic to keep tabs on him. In ad­di­tion, the judge or­dered Ta­tro to sub­mit a DNA sam­ple to au­thor­i­ties. Ta­tro also must sub­mit to poly­graph tests when or­dered, prose­cu­tors re­ported.

The in­ci­dent oc­curred on Feb. 27, 2015. Af­ter in­di­cat­ing that he was tak­ing the 19-year-old vic­tim to get ice cream, Ta­tro drove her in­stead to an iso­lated spot in Elk­ton and had sex with her in the back­seat of the ve­hi­cle, ac­cord­ing to As­sis­tant State’s At­tor­ney Mary Bur­nell, who noted that the men­tally chal­lenged teen lost her vir­gin­ity to Ta­tro dur­ing the in­ci­dent.

Ear­lier that day, Ta­tro was inside an Elk­ton res­i­dence when he over­heard the teen tell a woman there that she wanted to have a baby, Bur­nell said.

The men­tally chal­lenged teen was hold­ing a doll when she ex­pressed her de­sire to be a mother, prompt­ing the woman to ex­plain that car­ing for a real baby is a much big­ger re­spon­si­bil­ity than car­ing for a doll baby, Bur­nell added.

Later that day, Ta­tro drove the teen to the iso­lated spot in Elk­ton — un­der the ruse of get­ting ice cream — and had sex with her, prose­cu­tors re­ported.

The girl later told some­one in her house­hold what Ta­tro had done to her and, in turn, that per­son con­tacted au­thor­i­ties, prompt­ing an in­ves­ti­ga­tion by Det. Lind­sey Ziegen­fuss of the Elk­ton Po­lice Depart­ment, prose­cu­tors said.

Dur­ing a po­lice in­ter­view, prose­cu­tors added, Ta­tro con­fessed.

A Ce­cil County grand jury handed up a three-count in­dict­ment against Ta­tro in April 2015 and, af­ter nu­mer­ous de­lays and post­pone­ments, Ta­tro pleaded guilty in June and was sen­tenced on Wed­nes­day.


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